In light of conversations we've had on this site about the dearth of novels by black authors optioned and adapted for the screen (big or small) here in the USA, and in this case by a high profile, A-lister like Brad Pitt, it didn't take much coaxing to get me to act on the opportunity to interview Jason Mott, while I still could, before he becomes one of the so-called "untouchables" in Hollywood, when it would become a challenge to reach him.
The novel, The Returned, won't be published until September 2013, so I obviously haven't read it, and I'm guessing no one else as - well, except for those who are involved in the TV adaptation of it.
There was reportedly a bidding war for the rights to the novel, among several production companies and studios, suggesting that it's a strong, commercial, high concept work that will translate well to the screen.
So, what's The Returned about? Here's its short synopsis:
Omar Epps will star as Martin Bellamy, who's described as:
A family gets caught up in a worldwide event in which loved ones return from the dead exactly as they last were in life. Lucille and Harold Hargrave wonder: Is their dead eight-year-old son’s return a miracle or an impending sign of something horrible?
... an agent with the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement. He's a former cop who joined ICE when he got involved with a case involving the trafficking of children. He's empathetic with a soft spot for kids -- despite not having a family of his own -- and is fascinated by Jacob (newcomer Landon Gimenez), a mysterious boy who popped up from nowhere in the middle of rural China.Epps will lead a cast that already includes Kurtwood Smith, Devin Kelley, Matt Craven, Frances Fisher, Sam Hazeldine, Samaire Armstrong, Nicholas Gonzalez and Mark Hildreth.